Scientific Authors in a Changing World of Scholarly Communication: What Does the Future Hold?

Gyorgy Baffy, Michele M. Burns, Beatrice Hoffmann, Subha Ramani, Sunil Sabharwal, Jonathan F. Borus, Susan Pories, Stuart F. Quan, Julie R. Ingelfinger

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Scholarly communication in science, technology, and medicine has been organized around journal-based scientific publishing for the past 350 years. Scientific publishing has unique business models and includes stakeholders with conflicting interests—publishers, funders, libraries, and scholars who create, curate, and consume the literature. Massive growth and change in scholarly communication, coinciding with digitalization, have amplified stresses inherent in traditional scientific publishing, as evidenced by overwhelmed editors and reviewers, increased retraction rates, emergence of pseudo-journals, strained library budgets, and debates about the metrics of academic recognition for scholarly achievements. Simultaneously, several open access models are gaining traction and online technologies offer opportunities to augment traditional tasks of scientific publishing, develop integrated discovery services, and establish global and equitable scholarly communication through crowdsourcing, software development, big data management, and machine learning. These rapidly evolving developments raise financial, legal, and ethical dilemmas that require solutions, while successful strategies are difficult to predict. Key challenges and trends are reviewed from the authors’ perspective about how to engage the scholarly community in this multifaceted process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Open access
  • Peer review
  • Predatory publishing
  • Preprint repository
  • Self-archiving

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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